The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan Study Guide

Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan is a 2012 children's novel written in the voice of Ivan, an artistic gorilla who lives in a mall as a customer attraction. After Stella the elephant dies from neglect, Ivan comes to terms with his captivity and takes responsibility for saving a baby elephant named Ruby from Stella's fate; using his art, Ivan draws public attention to the animals' mistreatment, which leads to his and Ruby's relocation to a zoo.

Applegate's novel is based on the true story of a gorilla named Ivan, who lived in a mall for twenty-seven years before he was reintegrated into a gorilla troop at Zoo Atlanta in 1995.

The One and Only Ivan received the Newbery Medal and became a New York Times bestseller.